On Saturday, the weather was great and people were excited to share the gospel. We gathered inside of Starbucks as usual and we reminded ourselves John 15:5 that we can do nothing apart from Christ Jesus so we pray that we solely rely on God as we reach out to people with the gospel. As Corona Virus is on the rise we brought hand sanitiser and packs of tissue paper to utilise it for evangelism
By God’s grace, I have had many interesting conversations. I met Nathaniel and Bianca they were bright and polite people as they were passing by ‘GOOD PERSON TEST’ flip chart I asked them if they think they are good people and they laughed and said “ yeah I think so”. I told them that if they proved themselves to be a good person, 2 packs of tissue will be given to them but if they fail to do so, still 1 pack of tissue will be given to them as Corona Virus was on the rise and we all know that tissues are becoming more scarce people responded well to this deal.
And as I was preaching another lady came and joined the chat. As I finished with gospel presentation she told me that she was Christian and that she was greatly encouraged by seeing group of Christians preaching the gospel in the city. I encouraged her to do the same and gave her website that will help her to equip her. Recently by God’s grace I have encounter a lot of faithful Christians that were encouraged by the team preaching the gospel and inspired to do the same so please pray that God will raise more labourers as harvest is plentiful but workers are few ! And pray for Nathaniel and Bianca also !!
From Niki & Mark :-
We had some really great conversation this Saturday. The highlight was sharing the gospel with two young men (overseas students), who wanted me to contact them with more information. Please pray for Andres and Christian, as I sense they are very close to making a decision for Christ, if they haven’t already. We also spoke to two homeless men, David and Declan. They had been through difficult family times. We shared the gospel, tracts and they were happy for Mark to pray for them. It was evident David was touched by our interaction, he had tears in his eyes.
Another conversation was with three young Muslim men. Their view was that as Muslims, Jews and Christians we had much in common. I agreed but pointed out that a fundamental difference was that whilst they believed Jesus was a prophet, we believe He is God. One guy asked me to prove it. I talked about the Old Testament prophesies pointing to Jesus, His birth and death. Also Jesus’ disciples went into hiding following his crucifixion. After they saw him resurrected (and received the Holy Spirit), they went out with great boldness, they were prepared to die as Martyrs to tell people about Him. We also talked about salvation through faith in Christ, versus works and how the Bible says no one is righteous, not even one. We gave them tracts. Please pray for these young men to open their hearts to Christ. Mark spoke to a Hindu man Suresh, who told him he was a Brahman. He could see the faults in his religion and was very open to the gospel. Please pray for Suresh
From Huy Do:-
Due to the hysteria of the Coronavirus, despite the fact that we were out early today, not as many people were out as we supposed, yet regardless, we still proceeded to preach the Gospel of salvation. The highlight came when a young man named “Raz” came and listened, I went with him over the law and the condemnation of God for those who broke them and asked him if he was concerned about where he was going, to my surprise, he said “yes”, he was concerned over his soul. During this time, a man who was blind came and objected to the preaching, he was very hostile and very much attempted, in every way, to disturb my sharing with Raz the way that his condemnation is to be dealt with, he objected to the cross of Christ in every way possible, he was very bitter. To wit, at the end, I still managed to share with Raz the Gospel, that Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin and satisfied the justice of God on his behalf to give him everlasting life.
I explained to him that during this season of hysteria, the fate of man grows evermore uncertain and his fear of death is evermore stoked within him, therefore, that it should be right that he runs to the cross of Jesus Christ and be cleansed. By the end, after the Gospel was preached, I asked the bitter blind man why he was so bitter towards the preaching, he stated that it was because he was promised that if he sought after God, he would be delivered from his sin of bisexuality, yet he sought for 6 or 8 years and nothing happened, therefore he now hates God. My soul aches for him, and I asked if it is in any way possible for me to give him any resource considering his blindness, he said that there is none, nor does he want any resources. The man bitterly walked off and all that I said was “there is hope in Christ” as he went away.
This provoked me greatly to think upon his condition, to which I concluded that he was not ever regenerated. If he had been regenerated, then he would have stayed, for men with far greater infirmities have struggled far longer than he, yet by the grace of God, they prevailed and came to savingly know Christ and be regenerated. Since he was not regenerated, which is evidenced through his leaving, thus his previous seeking was all a work of the flesh, he never truly sought after God, for no man seeks after God, but rather the things God offered apart from God, in other words, the benefit of God apart from He who provides such benefit, hence a work of the flesh. Please pray fervently for both of them, that God would savingly grant them repentance.
From Dave Knight :-
One of my conversations was with a man in his late 50’s who did the flip chart right through said at the end...
“I admit I am a sinner”.
“I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rise again”.
“I want to call on the Lord to save me”.
When I challenged him to do so he said he had to go. Pray this man sees the urgency of trusting in Christ asap.
SOLI DEO GLORIA !!
Thursday was the last day of summer. It was really hot! And Friday was the first day of winter. Wet and cold - I even had to put my thermals on for the evening outreach, first time this year. But hot or cold, rain or shine - the gospel of Jesus needs to be shared.
Andy and I were at the Eastgate and Northlands bus stops, in the heat, on Thursday. We both had many gospel opportunities - esp. at Eastgate. I found it a bit slower than normal at Northlands, but ended up having some wonderful opportunities to share Christ.
I had an opportunity to share with a guy as he was walking past. My questions engaged him enough to keep him staying to hear the next question, but at the same time, I could see he wanted to go, so I had to go fast. I was able to share the whole law and gospel with him, and also throw a vital checking question at him before he left. Not surprisingly, his response to the question: “So, what did I say we need to do to go to heaven?” was “good deeds”. I corrected him (the answer is “trust that Jesus paid your fine”) and pleaded with him to study the tract.
I had an interesting conversation with a lovely person, who was a Goth. Apparently she had become a Christian back in December, and is going to a local church. She didn’t have much clarity around the gospel, so I tried to gently bring some.
At Northlands, I finally got into a conversation with a young man but I could tell he didn’t really want to talk. So when I got to the law, I asked if he would be willing to answer three quick questions - he declined. So I approached the guy next to him (his friend) to see if he would like to answer the three questions - he was keen. But I wound back to explain how we know God exists - and we ended up working on that question till their bus came.
Once they moved on, another guy turned up, and I ended up having a wonderful conversation with a guy who clearly wanted to live his life for himself, but who turned out to have a JW background (the clue was when he said Jesus died on a stake in response to one of my questions). I could tell that he had never heard the gospel before, had never understood the justice of God, and the incredible mercy of God. So I was really blessed to have the privilege to explain it to him. (One of the pictures shows us talking.)
Something unusual happened at Northlands. Both Andy and I noticed a young girl walking back and forth around the bus stops. Eventually Andy took the initiative to ask if she was okay. She broke into tears and said she was supposed to meet her older sister, but couldn’t find her. She didn’t have data on her phone and couldn’t contact. Andy brought the girl to me, and I turned on the hotspot on my phone so she could connect to the Internet. This solved the problem, as it turned out the sister was just around the corner! Andy was able to reunite them. And I think some very brief gospel communication occurred. What a blessing to be able to serve others both practically and spiritually! All glory to God.
I finished up the Northlands outreach with a conversation with a Christian high schooler. He had just finished writing an essay against abortion and we discussed this briefly, as well as the gospel. Very encouraging!
Firday’s outreaches started with the gospel + abortion outreach outside Christchurch hospital. I’m grateful that Marty brought his umbrella and he allowed me to share it - it got quite wet (pictured).
We then moved to Cathedral Square. It was quite empty, due to the weather, and probably due to the lack of tourists due to the closed borders because of Coronavirus. But there were enough people around for all three of us (Marty, Andy and I) to freely proclaim the gospel (no fighting with music or construction noise today). For me it was the first time I had open air preached in a while, and I really enjoyed it. We had one heckler who would ramble in the background - but wasn’t any real disturbance. I had a great, although brief, follow up opportunity after I preached (pictured). And also, one of the food stalls blessed us with some free lunch! What a blessing - thank you!
Andy and I then spent two hours on the streets of central Christchurch having walk up conversations with people, as opportunity allowed.
The highlight was a conversation with two young men. Sadly, during the evening outreach, I encountered one of them again, but he wanted to keep his distance. After thinking through the gospel - he had clearly rejected it.
The Evening outreach was difficult. Cold and wet, and with Coronavirus, I knew it was going to be a difficult two hours. I spent some time in prayer before heading out. I wasn’t wrong. Cathedral Square was completely empty. Even the bars and restaurants were very quiet.
But, all glory to God, I was still able to have four sets of gospel conversations during the outreach!
The highlights would be the gospel conversation with a Jew and a Catholic - I had to really work to get them to understand grace through faith. And the final conversation I had outside the bus exchange with a kid who had rejected religion (background: Mum - Baptist; Dad - Catholic). But he was keen to talk to me.
I thank you for your prayer and support of the Christchurch (NZ) team. Please pray for labourers. And join us out where the fish are!
Tuesday was St. Patrick’s Day! There was a team of two who spent two hours on our usual Riccarton outreach in the late afternoon, and then in the early evening we were outside two Irish pubs doing the St. Patrick’s Day test with people.
During the Riccarton outreach, I had four conversations.
First up was a Catholic man that one of the team has talked to before on a Friday night outreach in the city. Sadly, he wasn’t open to reason in any way, and so I let him move on - he didn’t hear the gospel.
I then had a lady stop, interested in the flip chart. She liked to talk (which is okay). So it was a longer conversation, but she was all over the place in her thinking and, again, I couldn’t reason with her. But she did stay to hear the law and the gospel.
I was taking notes of that conversation, when Roger called out to me. I looked up, and I had two high school students looking at the flip chart. They were brother and sister. And they were very sharp thinkers - so a good conversation was had. I slowly took them through the logic of how we know God exists, the law, and the gospel, then through the series of checking questions. There was resistance at each point, but we worked through the logic, and they didn’t seem to be able to fault the logic. They understood the gospel. But when I challenged them to respond at the end, they rejected the gospel. I asked them why. And they were speechless. I explained why most reject it (it’s not that it’s not true, but the cost is too high). And I pleaded with them to read through the tracts I gave them, and to discuss it with their parents. They appreciated the conversation and went to shake my hand… but we tapped elbows instead! (If you are reading in the distant future, it’s because of Coronavirus.)
I finished up the outreach with a short conversation with an older lady who was very interested in the flip chart. She grew up in the church, so I asked her what we need to do to go to heaven: good works were her answer! So I briefly explained why it can’t be good work, and what the good news is. She seemed struck. She became very interested in what church I went to, and got me to write down all the details. She said she would read the After Life tract I gave her.
For the St. Patricks Day outreach, we were outside two Irish pubs over the two hours. But, because of Coronavirus, there were not many people around (last year it was similar, but due to the mosque shootings).
But this did not stop us having some great conversations.
My first was a long conversation with a guy walking home after work. He followed Viking religion, and was resistant. But we had a nice long conversation where I was able to make some inroads into why the Christian worldview makes sense. He heard the law, and I touched on the gospel.
At the second pub, the highlight conversation was with a group of three. Two of them just wanted to go into the pub, but the third guy really wanted to do the St. Patrick’s Day test. He wanted to know what his prize would be if he got them all right… he said I would have to do a handstand if he did. I agreed. To my amazement, he was getting the questions right. But, to my relief, he stumbled at the final hurdle.
Then I asked him what the message of St. Patrick was (answer: the gospel). He then triggered to what we were doing. He was impressed. He said if he knew we were Christians right from the start he would have said a foul word to us. But now that he was engaged, he was keen to chat about religion. And boy did he like to talk! He would often say “let me finish, let me finish”. Because of this, I didn’t really get to share the gospel with him. But he did take a tract! I hope he reads it, and that some of the things we talked about would resonate.
On Wednesday, I was back in the City. I ditched the flip chart and decided to do “walk up”. I made it all the way down to Ara on this outreach. I had four wonderful gospel conversations.
The first was with a young man who recognised me as he was walking towards me while he was crossing a road. He said hello, and even used my name! I didn’t remember him, but then he triggered my memory saying that we had talked during a climate change protest last year. He held to reincarnation, but also believed in God, heaven, and hell. He heard the law and the gospel again. But he was resistant because he understood the cost. He said he wanted to enjoy life, and then he would consider it. Inwardly I just shook my head, and tried to get him to understand what he was saying.
My next two conversations were with tourists: the first was with three Germans who were heading home early because of Coronavirus. Initially, only one of them was engaging me in gospel conversation, but by the end of the conversation, they were all interested, and all took tracts. The second was with a guy from Holland. At one point, I thought I was going to lose him as we discussed how we know God exists. But I quickly moved on with the law and the gospel, and he re-engaged and seemed genuinely impacted.
The last conversation was outside Ara. It was with three students. Interestingly, homosexuailty and abortion came up in the conversation. But they all heard the law and the gospel.
I praise God for all these opportunities. We may be reaching people one at a time, or in small groups. But as the days, weeks, years pass… many people are being reached with the gospel. All glory to God. In God’s timing, may many come to saving faith in Jesus.
What a glorious day to be in God’s service here in Hobart! In the midst of so much fear and anxiety we were able to reach out with the hope and security found in Jesus Christ alone.
There were many encouragements and great conversations had through the day today as Kieron and I were able to preach and read the word and run the Bible table. Repeatedly we were able to speak with Christians and so many of them were calm and joyful, such a contrast to the panic that seems to permeate the media these days.
Mrs P. – an American Christian who came to the Bible table asking for resources while I was reading from Romans 8. Very please to hear about the regular outreach in the mall and encouraged us to continue in the work. Was interested in getting some tracts to do outreach at work. Was able to supply her with some and the link to purchase more from the Operation 513 webstore.
Christian couple from Cambridge (Tasmania not England) – part of a fellowship in the Cambridge community hall (Praise God for raising up churches!). Likewise, very please there is an outreach happening in the mall and took some tracts to use around Hobart and Cambridge.
Ms D. – Regular visitor to the outreach who we all love and pray for regularly. Has faced many struggles and continues to face hard times with medical concerns and the sins of others around her. She sat and talked and listened for some time and we were able to encourage her and assure her of our prayers.
School student – Has stopped previously and I was able to encourage and hopefully bless her with some of the comfort that God offers. She was struggling with how to be generous with those who would use that generosity to damage themselves. I encouraged her to continue to be generous but not to give in to demands that it be purely be financial. I pointed her to the examples in scripture that teach us to offer help in such a way that it is blessing others. I also told her that when I have people in the mall ask for help, I will offer to buy them food or something similar rather than giving money. She thanked Kieron and I for the outreach and then encouragement of the preaching today, and I praise God that it blessed her, because her encouragement blessed me.
Mr M. – A regular Italian visitor, we often talk about world events, and today it was about coronavirus and other health concerns. I was able to encourage him to be careful and look to the Lord for security in these times. He also encouraged me in the work and particularly the preaching.
Your amateur reporter is back after a partial recovery from a sizzled modem router. Thankfully God's good news is unchangeable as is our Redeemer, Heb. 13:8. Wellington Point was somewhat lacking the usual number of tourists. As always, God led us to contact those thar He wished to be spoken to today.
Ryan & Fynn had a long conversation with an Argentinian man (a first from that country at W. Pt.) Initially, he claimed to believe in God and he was cruising through life doing more good than bad. When he was able to see his need for the Lord Jesus Christ, he offered an array of excuses for not dealing with Him. Finally, he was happy to receive a gospel of John: may the Father draw him to the Son and the Holy Spirit regenerate him.
Lee-Anne and Railee met a variety of people including a lass who attends a prosperity gospel gathering and who understands the gospel. When asked her assessment of the teaching, she said it was fine. A few more questions had her telling that she seldom opened God,s word. She was encouraged to start doing so regularly.
I was encouraged by meeting with Sophie, Jan and Esther from a local Korean congregation. Jan had met a op513 person before who had challenged her claim to be a Christian. Having been a regular at Hope Reformed Baptist church, Jan answered well. Sophie's dad is involved in outreach and she received her Aussie name from Rev. Dr. Matthew Kim. (He taught me at the Theological Hall in the 1980s. They were likewise encouraged and as they were leaving, Railee who had just joined us, gave them some tracts to pass on. They liked them, especially the "Which One is Right?" tract.
There is more to pray for but hopefully this whets your appetite to see God bring His elect children home until they are all safely in the one fold under the One Shepherd.
We went home rejoicing.
To God be the glory, great things He always does.
On Saturday I was in the city, and there were two separate Muslim groups out evangelising. One group from Auckland in Cathedral Square, and Two guys from the UK in Cashel Mall. The reason for this is that it has been one year since the tragic mosque shootings in Christchurch a year ago.
I started the outreach in Cathedral Square with a chat with a construction worker.
Then I had a whole lot of teen guys come past my flip chart and show a lot of interest. There would have been at least twelve of them, plus a couple of adults. I was engaging them with the first page of the flip chart, challenging them on how we know right from wrong when the adults said the tour guide was ahead and they had to go. Some of the teens wanted to stay and talk, but they couldn’t leave the group - so they took tracts instead.
Many of them were holding copies of the Quran, and related literature, which is how I first learned about the Muslims being out.
Later in the outreach, I decided to pack up my flip chart and went to talk to the Muslims, to express my genuine sympathy, and to engage them out of love. Two young men were happy to talk, and one of them gave me a Quran - which I accepted.
I asked them the key question: how do I go to heaven. This led to a conversation where they talked about the mercy of God. So I asked how God can be merciful and just at the same time. They basically said that God is not like a human judge, he can forgive if he wants to. So I asked if God could forgo justice for the mosque shooter and just give him mercy.
After listening for quite a while, I tried to show them how God can be both just and merciful: through sacrifice. They had mentioned Moses, so going from there I started talking about the passover lamb - and then one of the guys, knowing where I was going, became super defensive. The shields went fully up, and the conversation ended there. But we parted on good terms.
I moved to Cashel Mall, and that is when I came across the second Muslim group (pictured). These guys were in Christchurch just under a year ago - and one of them remembered me as the “Ray Comfort” guy. I was honoured that he remembered me!
I also asked this guy how God could be just and merciful but, same as last year, his answers were windy and intellectual sounding without any content. I challenged him on this, and asked him for clear answers. Our conversation finished up a few minutes later, and we parted on good terms.
They were on one side of Colombo street, so I decided to set up my flip chart on the other side.
I had a quick follow up conversation, and then I had a crazy guy have a go at me before getting into another good follow up conversation.
Sadly, while I was having that follow up conversation, I had two sets of people keen to try the flip chart - but there were no labourers to share the gospel with them. Please, pray for labourers.
The outreach ended with a conversation with a man who had talked the Muslims, and then was keen to talk to me. He was very smart, and very blunt. Two ladies interrupted us to ask if they could ask a quick question. I smiled and said yes. They guy I was talking to said no!
After directing the ladies to the tram stop (and giving them tracts), I pulled they guy up and said he didn’t need to be rude.
But the gospel conversation continued. He processed the logic, and didn’t like it. He heard the law, but I can’t remember if he heard the gospel - I don’t think he wanted to hear it. It was a tense conversation, but we parted on good terms.
On Sunday I was back in Cashel Mall, and my Muslim friends were in the same spot as yesterday.
I had some good gospel conversations but, again, other opportunities were missed due to a lack of labourers.
I had a quick follow up with a guy I had first talked to a month or so ago at Northlands. I had a great gospel conversation with an Indian couple. And another couple were keen to talk, but had to go - accepting tracts.
A friend had recently given me some NZ million dollar tracts - I love these, but haven’t used them for a long time as Operation 513 doesn’t sell these in NZ. To finish the outreach, I had fun handing many of these out as I walked back to my car.
Looking forward to a day of rest on Monday and then getting back to work, God willing, on Tuesday. Thanks for your prayers!
It’s been a super busy Thursday and Friday for the Christchurch (NZ) team! I’m reflecting back on my notes for Thursday, and I can barely remember some of the conversations I wrote about! But this is good, because it shows that God has been blessing us with many opportunities to talk about Christ.
I had seven conversations in two hours at Eastgate. Some long, some short. A few follow ups.
I saw an elderly gentleman for the third time. The last time I had talked to him (at Northlands I think) he said he didn’t want to talk about spiritual things. So when he walked towards me, I decided to take a different tack: I just spent time getting to know him - and he certainly enjoyed that. From time to time, we would subtly touch on spiritual matters, but it was driven by him. God willing, I will have more opportunities to see him and talk further. God willing, he will become willing to a gospel conversation - but it’s not something I can force.
I offered a tract to a young man which triggered a conversation. He said he was a Christian, so I used the “dagger in my back” scenario to try to find out what he understood about the gospel. It was clear he understood that good people, that did good things would go to heaven - which was very concerning. And so I reversed the conversation and told him what I would say to someone dying: I took him through the law and the gospel. And he looked genuinely stunned. His bus came, but he was torn, because he wanted to stay and talk. I said, “hey man, I don’t want you to miss your bus, you better get going”. But then the bus pulled out and left! He didn’t seem too concerned, so we talked some more about the gospel.
An elderly lady was sitting waiting for a taxi, I said hello, and we fell into an easy conversation. She was lovely! She spoke softly, and there was a fan running just behind her, making it hard for me to hear her. But I persisted. We talked about wisdom (actually I listened to her share some wisdom), but the gospel was at the center of our conversation. Her taxi arrived, and she gladly received a tract, promising that she would read it.
In my report last Thursday I mentioned that I had a follow up, at Northlands, with a young man who had been reading a tract, but still didn’t have a grasp of the gospel. Well I saw him again at Eastgate this week - and so I was able to explain the gospel to him. Praise God.
At Northlands, the conversations were more difficult than at Eastgate. Many conversations I started would be ended by a bus coming! Yet I was able to share the full law and gospel with a few people.
The highlight conversation was with a young lady who was considering being baptised. She said it was required to be saved! So starting with the gospel, and tracking back to the law, I explained that baptism was not required for salvation - we are saved by grace through faith. But if we were saved we would want to be baptised. She listened intently, and took a tract as she left.
On Friday, a team of six stood outside the hospital protesting abortion, and bringing the hope of the gospel to any who would listen. Right from the beginning we were under attack. Literally in the first minute three people showed their disgust with strong words! And this continued throughout the outreach. Yet, we did get support too, and we were able to have a number of conversations. Andy did a wonderful job in engaging many people in conversation and handing out “Life is Precious” tracts at the hospital entrance steps.
As usual, we then moved to Cathedral Square for open air preaching. Andy preached. And he had some initial push back from at least one heckler (note, the sign in the picture is held by a heckler and not endorsed by us). I had a great conversation with a young man who listened to the preaching for a bit.
In Cashel Mall, the first hour went really well.
I had a wonderful follow up conversation with a young guy I last talked to over a year ago! As that was happening, a man who saw the Dalai Lama on my flip chart stopped and wanted to talk. I managed to share the gospel with both of them. But the original guy, although it was great to see him and catch up, is simply not interested (now anyway).
I had a number of other good conversations, people seemed interested in the flip chart and were keen to take tracts.
But in the second hour, I started to flag. My legs became very tired. How I was feeling was probably reflected in my body language, as I wasn’t able to get anyone to stop for a chat.
Eventually I saw a homeless guy I’ve been getting to know sit down to start begging in the sun. So I went over to sit with him and talk. I hope to write more about this guy in a future report. I’m feeling hopeful about him.
A team of two were back in the city for the Friday evening outreach. The highlight was an hour long conversation with a guy from the revival center - they believe baptism and speaking in tongues is required for salvation, and it was clear to me - through the conversation - that works play a role in maintaining their salvation. We had a wonderful chat about how we are justified. I, of course, demonstrating that it is by faith alone.
On Saturday, I bought few tissue paper packs to utilise it in the evangelism. We basically said to people "if you prove yourself to be a GOOD PERSON after you are done with GOOD PERSON TEST then we will give you 2 tissue packs but if you can't we will still give you 1 pack". It was not as effective as we thought but people did engaged fairly well.
By God's grace all the team members had interesting conversations. I met 2 teenagers who were hanging out in the city they generously allowed me to do GOOD PERSON TEST on them. As I went through the law of God and asked them whether they think they will be guilty on judgment day, one of the teenager said "No, Jesus died for me" and she told me that she was Christian but her friend was not. The teenager who was not a Christian seemed clearly convicted and challenged. I do not remember their name but please pray that they will repent and put their trust in Jesus Christ.
From Dave Knight :-
It was a joy to go out on Saturday evening with the team and do outreach. We had 2 flip charts going and many people stopped to participate in answering questions about the various pages on the chart. After Martin finished doing a presentation to a group I spoke to one of the bystanders and asked him what did he think about it. He said he had doubts so I asked him his name and he said “Thomas” So I asked hi. If he’d heard of “Doubting Thomas” in the Bible and he said he had. So I asked him to tell me the story and he explained what he knew about it but said he didn’t know a lot else about the Bible. I asked him what Jesus said to Thomas after He showed him his hands and feet and pierced side but he didn’t remember. So I told him that Jesus said “You saw and believed but blessed are those who haven’t seen and yet have believe”. So I asked him would he believe in Jesus’ resurrection? He said he would think about it. So please pray for “doubting Thomas” to stop doubting and believe.
After This I was able to do a presentation to 3 young people named Michele, Summer and Chris. They were quite interested and asked lots of questions, especially about son and judgement. Please pray they will continue to be convicted of the Holy Spirit who has come into the world to convict of sin and of righteousness and of judgement. (John 16:8).
From Troy :-
If we could include these people to pray for from Saturday;
I spoke to two young Muslim ladies from United Arab Emirates. They are in Australia to study. We discussed that, though they might not have committed each one of the sins referred to in the Good Person Test, they are guilty before a holy God; and that Jesus came as both man and God to die on behalf of sinners. They recounted their understanding of the role of Jesus from the perspective of the Koran. Pray that the seed that was sown will be used by the Lord to call these two to repentance and faith.
An Indian guy and his girlfriend came to talk. We went through the Good Person Test. It appears that this guy, though he calls himself a Christian, and has a mother in India who is a Christian, is unclear about what it means to be one. Pray that the Lord will move him -- and his girlfriend though she seemed bored -- to put his trust in Christ and not in good works.
I spoke to an intelligent, homeless guy for some time. Quite a gentle guy. He does not seem to be alcohol or drug dependent. His claim is that no one can prove that one's spirit leaves and goes elsewhere when we die. I agreed, but explained that his conclusion, apparently providing him with confidence that no one knows, does not provide certainty, that Jesus was seen by over 500 after he rose, and that if we are just just molecules, without any moral standard, he should be about the business of enjoying life, if immediate experience is paramount and we simply turn to nothing at the end of life.
Daniel and I spoke to a Fijian, Christian guy and his friend. The first guy is in the Australian Defence Force, based in Brisbane. He attends a Pentecostal church there. His friend is a pastor and they are in the process of planting a church from their denomination in Melbourne. Pray that the Lord will prosper their effort in extending His Kingdom, via their church plant, that they would reach many with the Gospel, and that it would be a church that nurtures and grows the saints in the faith.
From Daniel Supek :-
The LORD used it to show ever more of my own in dweling sins and utter hopelessness apart from Him. He showed me my utter frailty and susceptibility to the subtlety of pride, the at times, careless and ungracious words to the brethren and overall my own unsanctification. Yet also the glory of Christ and what He did for my sins at Calvary, that it is finished already, that although my sins are thus remaining, and my falls are present, yet the work of Christ is finished at Calvary. He has ransomed me. Thus is what God taught me.
I turned up to my usual spot in Riccarton and set up my flip charting, wondering and praying about the afternoons encounters.
First up, I received some encouragement! A bus driver had stopped in traffic directly opposite me. The driver opened the door, and pulled a Gideon’s Bible out of his pocket to show me. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up. He nodded, closed the door and drove on. To me, he was saying: “well done, I’m proud of you, keep up the good work”!
Then a guy walked past and took a tract and said that someone had already talked to him on Friday in Cashel Mall. It was Jason! Christchurch is a small world - encouraging.
Next up I had a young high school student surprise me by articulating the gospel quite well right off the bat - I was impressed.
I had a follow up with a lady I first met last week. She had read the tract I’d given her, but I could tell she really didn’t want to talk about it. So we chatted about other things for a while, and then she decided to share about someone she knew who had turned their life to God about eighteen months ago - she talked about the dramatic turn around in their life, and how she talked about God but wasn’t pushy about it… I understood, I can’t push God on to anyone. It was a lovely chat - I hope to see her again.
I then had a chat with a guy who claimed to be Bhudist, but really just had his head in the sand in regards to the difficult questions of life. As opposed to my previous conversatoin, I decided to be a bit forceful to try to wake this guy up. He heard the law, and also the logic of why God and hell must exist. But he didn’t want the good news. He took a tract, and we parted on good terms.
Last Tuesday I posted about an interesting gospel conversation I had on the Riccarton outreach where an Indian guy got all the way through my gospel presentation saying he wanted to trust that Jesus paid his fine - but then after considering the cost of accepting the gift (last page of the flip chart) backed away. It was the last conversation of the outreach, it was a "come back" (he left but came back), and it caused the outreach to "go long".
Well, this Tuesday, on my last conversation of the day, I had a "come back" (received a tract, partly read it, and came back), which caused the outreach to "go long". This time it was with a CBHS boarder (Catholic background), and this time, even after considering the cost, he still wanted to trust that Jesus paid his "fee" (for some reason he preferred the word "fee" over "fine").
Now I'm not getting excited yet. I challenged him, that if he was serious, he was to talk it through with his parents (if they want to contact me, they are welcome). And then he was to contact me about coming along to church. He took a Bible (pictured), and various tracts. Time will tell. He is in God's hands. My gut says he needs time to consider it further, and work the implications through. Please pray for Will.
Photos, courtesy of Roger Spicer - thanks.
On Wednesday, I was in the city, most of my time was spent in Cathedral Square.
Good news! KFC is opening up in Christchurch city! This is the first major fast food chain to open a store since the earthquake 10 years ago. It's a sign that people are returning to the central city - this can only be good for evangelism!
The outreach started with some good follow up conversations with homeless, or ex-homeless people that I knew.
I then got into a fascinating conversation with a young man who wasn’t shy at hiding the fact that he hated God! I thought the conversation would die early - but he kept hanging on. And he started to soften. He was trying to make a distinction between us, and effectively saying his truth was true for him, and my truth was true for me. But I gave clear arguments for why that didn’t make sense.
I was convincing him that we were equals, brothers in the sense that we were one blood before God, when he suddenly got up and approached a stranger to be an arbiter in our argument. The stranger took my side! And I also had an opportunity to bring the new person into the gospel conversation. They didn’t stay long, but they did take a tract.
Even later in the conversation, a fourth person got involved - yet another opportunity to share about Christ! He also took a tract before moving on.
By the end of the conversation, the original guy wanted to know what church I went to, and said he would come along. I made it clear that coming to church wouldn’t make him right with good, and reiterated the gospel. Like I said: fascinating.
The outreach ended with a great walk up opportunity with a young man from England. He heard and understood the gospel.
As I think about it, it amazes me how many people are open enough to hear the gospel if I’m just a little bit bold in asking them a question. Sure, I get rejected a lot, but still… come join me in the harvest fields.
After the gospel + abortion outreach, which I wrote about here, we moved into Cathedral Square to preach in the open air. There was loud music, and construction noise from the nearby convention center, but this did not stop two of the team preaching. On this occasion, the hecklers were tame.
As we were moving to Cashel Mall, I stopped a young couple to ask them if they ever thought about what happens after they die. They looked at me stunned, and then he said that they had only just been talking about it! They were instantly engaged. And I was able to go through the law and the gospel with them both.
In Cashel Mall, the wind became very noticeable, the buildings were forming a wind tunnel! So we weren’t able to use the flip charts for the whole outreach, but before I packed mine away, I had a great conversation with two guys, one from Germany, and the other from England. They were resistant, but they seemed genuinely challenged, and became engaged enough to want to hear the gospel. As they walked away, I asked them another checking question, the English guy, with tongue in cheek, answered with “good works”... he knew that wasn’t the right answer - I was satisfied he understood the gospel!
The outreach ended up going long, with some late opportunities to share the gospel. Jason had a long chat (pictured), and Andy & I got into a conversation with two Indian guys (also pictured).
As always, thank you for your prayer and support!